All three candidates vying to represent the 19th Ohio House District for the next two years will be unopposed in their March 6 primary races.
Incumbent Republican Anne Gonzales, Democrat Al Donahey and Libertarian Michael Johnston will advance to the November general election ballot. Independents may still file by the March 5 deadline.
The 19th district now includes Blendon Township, Gahanna, Minerva Park, New Albany and Westerville. The newly drawn state-legislature districts take effect this election cycle. State Democrats had challenged the district boundaries, which were drawn by the Republican-dominated Apportionment Board, but a 6-1 ruling last week by the Ohio Supreme Court will keep the districts in place for at least the 2012 races, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
Gonzales, 48, of Westerville, is running for her second term.
“In the past year, I’ve been able to help many constituents with several concerns,” she said. “It’s a rewarding experience to serve in a position that allows you to help people.”
Gonzales said if elected in November she will continue to work on education funding and job creation. She also wants to address water-quality issues faced by township residents in her district.
Gonzales has a bachelor’s degree from Otterbein University and served eight years on Westerville City Council. She also served as Westerville mayor.
Donahey, 47, of New Albany, said he is running for office “because I want to make common sense a common practice at the Statehouse. We need to protect our workers’ rights, restore our school funding and give everyone an equal opportunity to succeed.”
If elected in November, Donahey said he will “focus on improving our economy by protecting our middle class, investing in our schools and providing opportunities to retrain our workforce where skills are most needed. É Investing in the middle class allows our workers the opportunity to provide for their families, and be able to live, work, and contribute to our vibrant community.”
Donahey originally is from Florida and has a bachelor’s degree in urban studies and a minor in political studies from the University of Tampa.
He has been a financial advisor for 20 years and is employed by Valic Financial Services.
Johnston, 32, of Westerville, is a write-in on the primary ballot.
Johnston said he is running for the 19th-district seat because he feels the two previous representatives have not properly represented their constituents. He said Ohio needs to rework the state budget and take out some of the regulations that hinder business growth.
“As a Libertarian, I’m fiscally conservative and want to shrink the size of the state budget,” he said.
If elected in November, Johnston said one of his main goals would be to improve the economy by removing “barriers and hurdles” for small business start-ups, also eliminating taxes and fees tied to hiring employees.
Johnston is a native of Pennsylvania and holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from The Ohio State University, a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from DeVry University and a master’s degree in public administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry.
He is an information technology support analyst at Teleperformance.